Potholes more prevalent in winter, crews limited to temporary fix

Potholes more prevalent in winter, crews limited to temporary fix

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - With more ice and snow in the forecast, the traveling public may be dodging more than just slick spots.

Potholes are a growing problem during the winter months, and crews that patch the problem are typically limited using a temporary fix and the amount of repair work they can do.

Cape Girardeau traffic operation manager, Andrew Stone, said that repairing potholes is a year-round effort, but if rainwater inside the potholes or his personal is prepping for other storm events they're limited to the amount of patchwork the public works department can do.

"If you're running over it our staff is running over it as well and we're out to get all the potholes filled as soon as possible," Stone said. "They pop up and no one wants to be driving on potholes. They can damage cars. More water can get in between the rocks."

There are a variety of factors behind potholes forming, but Nathan Orf, a MoDOT maintenance supervisor, said the freeze and thaw cycle during the winter months plays a big role is concrete and asphalt continuing to break apart.

"Our temperature changes so much in Missouri," Orf said. "The getting cold and warming up, getting cold and warming it up, it does expand and contract the road surface allowing the water in. The more you let it go the bigger the hole is going to get, the more damage people are going to have so we're going to stay ahead of that."

Both departments use a cold oil rock mixture to patch up potholes during the winter months. At MoDOT''s Jackson site, Orf said that they order 30 tons of cold patch every winter season because it's more cost-effective than the permanent hot patch solution.

"This time of year it doesn't make sense to run heat to a big oil distributor for something that you're only going to use on a few holes," Orf said. "Instead we clean out the hole, put the Pavon in, the aggregate on top it and tamp it down the best we can. By all means traffic also helps keep the material packed in the hole and hopefully keeping the moisture out."

And both Orf and Stone are asking drivers to be aware of repair trucks fixing potholes and keeping the safety of everyone in mind.

"Slow your speed down and please be mindful when passing them to give them plenty of room," Stone said. "Give other drivers plenty of room. We all want to get home at the end of the day so let's work together to be safe."

Those that have a pothole in mind they want to be filled can make a request to the City of Cape Public Works Department by calling 573-339-6351.

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